Prioritisation is a tool to communicate and agree on what risks are to be actioned most urgently. It sets expectations and allows for people to understand where a particular risk falls in the project’s workload.
If there is disagreements about priorities the likelihood and impacts can be revisited, and maybe a risk can be re-prioritised. This is likely in many projects as the uncertainty of the future diminishes and the likelihood of risk events occurring is better understood.
The diagram below is a typical tool for representing a project’s risks at a strategic level. You may identify several dozen risks and the number of risks (or the risk reference numbers) can be listed in the boxes representing each likelihood/impact assessment. This then gives an overview of the risk profile of the project. It also highlights which things are priorities to be dealt with.
Craig Brown has worked as a project manager and business analyst mainly in the Australian ITC and the banking industries. He has also worked in the law, education and welfare industries, including starting a law firm. Craig now has a Master’s degree in project management from RMIT university, and is currently working with a Melbourne based IT consulting firm called OptimiseIT. Craig’s personal blog can be found at http://www.betterprojects.net.